Saturday, October 29, 2011

Recipe: White House Sweet Dough Butter Cookies

Executive Pastry Chef Bill Yosses' special holiday cookies...
When President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama welcome thousands of kids to the White House for trick-or-treating under the North Portico this year, the goodie bags will contain exactly the same delights as in 2010 and 2009, the White House announced.  That includes a White House Sweet Dough Butter Cookie made by Executive Pastry Chef Bill Yosses and his team, and the recipe is below.  (Above:  The President and Mrs. Obama during the 2009 trick-or-treating, with Chewbacca and a Storm Trooper)

There's also candy in the treat bags: Each purple ribbon-tied cellophane bag includes a box of White House M&Ms,  a box of Reese's Pieces, and, in keeping with Mrs. Obama's Let's Move! campaign, a scoop of dried fruit.  The "recipe" for that is below, too, as is a video showing behind-the-scenes action in the Pastry Kitchen. (Above: The Presidential M&Ms that are in each treat bag)

Yosses' cookies for the annual Halloween party are stamped in the shape of the White House, and sometimes have a little black spider etched on in sugar.  Each batch of cookies contains--and here's where things get really scary--a pound of sugar and two pounds of butter. The horror! The recipe is very easy, but the dough must be refrigerated over night before it can be used.  The number of cookies produced depends on the size of the cookie cutters that are used.   Check the sidebar for more White House recipes.
White House Sweet Dough Butter Cookies

*Dough must be chilled overnight.

*Preheat the oven to 350F.

1 lb Sugar

2 lbs Butter

3 lbs All Purpose Flour

3 Eggs

1 tsp Vanilla

1 tsp Salt

1. Mix the butter and sugar till soft and well beaten.

2. Then add eggs, vanilla, salt and half the flour. Beat on slow speed till mixed, then add the rest of the flour and mix until incorporated.

3. Push flat onto a cookie sheet and refrigerate overnight.

4. The next day, roll dough out to one quarter inch thick, and cut out cookie shapes with cookie cutter.

5. Bake at 350F for 14 minutes and then allow to cool.

Decorate as desired.
Number of cookie servings varies depending on size of cookies cut.

White House Dried Fruit Mix

*Mix dried apples, apricots, pears, blueberries, pineapple, papaya, pear, cherries and banana chips together, and serve.

In this video about 2011 Halloween preparations, Assistant Pastry Chef Susie Morrison shows off the cookies and treat bags getting put together in the pastry shop:

Related: CLICK HERE for a post about the 2009 Obama Halloween Celebration; CLICK HERE for a post about the 2010 Obama Halloween Celebration.

*Top photo by Pete Souza/White House